Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Sour. Tangy. Lip-puckering good. I have loved lemons and all things sour since I was a little kid. I used to suck on the lemons from my parent’s sweet tea (although my dentist now tells me this probably wasn’t good for my teeth!). 

Given my life-long lemon obsession, I’ve been dying to make my own Limoncello. For those of you not familiar, Limoncello is a traditional Italian spirit made by infusing grain alcohol with lemon zest and mixing it with simple syrup. I’m not italian, but ever since I tried Limoncello in Italy while in college, I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. 

Fortunately, Limoncello is pretty easy to make, although it does take a while. Zest 10 lemons. Funnel zest into a clean bottle. Pour in 750 ml of vodka or Everclear. Steep at least a month at room temperature, shaking gently every day. Add simple syrup to taste (about 4 cups). Steep for at least two more weeks. Chill well before serving.

A few tips. Avoid zesting the pith (the white part). It's bitter and will make your Limoncello tatse funky. Speaking of zesting, pick firm lemons and use a good zester. Trust me. I now have hand cramps from my old dull one. Finally, use a spirit with high alcohol content. The higher the proof, the less alcohol and more lemon you'll taste.

Assuming this batch turns out well, I'm planning on decanting my Limoncello into smaller bottles for Christmas gifts. Check back in December to see how it tuns out!

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